Te Maru o Kaituna River Authority received presentations from 26 submitters to the Proposed Kaituna River Document, during hearings held in Te Puke last week.
Te Maru o Kaituna River Authority Chairman Dean Flavell said that the majority of submitters were supportive of the proposed document and of what Te Maru o Kaituna is trying to achieve. They shared their passion for the river and generally advocated for a balanced approach.
“The Kaituna River and its catchment can be likened to a taonga, a valued treasure of great importance, and the Kaituna River Document is Te Arataki-hou (new direction) for the restoration, protection and enhancement of the Kaituna River.
We received a total of sixty-two submissions from a wide range of sectors including iwi, conservation, recreational user and special interest groups, as well as individuals with a general interest in the river. The submissions highlighted that not only is the river valued by local iwi and the community, it’s also internationally renowned amongst rafters and kayakers,” Mr Flavell said.
“A real mix of views were expressed during the hearings. Some submitters promoted stronger environmental aspirations for the river, others a greater focus on Māori outcomes, culture and history. The river’s role in supporting economic growth and employment was also highlighted,” he said.
Submitters also suggested changes to some of the proposed provisions, including the wording of the objectives and desired outcomes relating to water quality and quantity.
The Kaituna River Authority is now considering the points raised by submitters. They’ll hold deliberations over the coming months before making decisions on what amendments should be made to the document. A final version of the Kaituna River Document will then be prepared and released in early 2018.
- Te Maru o Kaituna River Authority is a co-governance partnership set up by the Tapuika Claims Settlement Act 2014. It comprises representatives from five iwi (Tapuika Iwi Authority, Te Kapu Ō Waitaha, Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa, Te Tāhuhu o Tawakeheimoa Trust, Te Komiti Nui o Ngāti Whakaue) and four councils (Tauranga City, Western Bay of Plenty District, Rotorua Lakes and Bay of Plenty Regional Councils).
- The Tapuika Claims Settlement Act 2014 directed the Authority to prepare the Kaituna River Document, to outline shared aspirations for the restoration, protection and enhancement of the environmental, cultural and spiritual well-being of the Kaituna River and its tributaries.
- Once the Kaituna River Document is approved; its vision, objectives and desired outcomes must be recognised and provided for in the Regional Policy Statement for the Bay of Plenty as well as in the relevant regional, district and city plans (administered by the regional, district and city councils) under the Resource Management Act 1991.
- See www.kaituna.org.nz for further information.